Yesterday, I began reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage. To be honest, I don’t know much about the book. I know it’s been getting a lot of buzz. But the back cover description went over my head and I’m not exactly sure what kind of story I’m getting into.
So far I’ve only read the first 18 pages, but I was immediately struck by the pace of the novel. Those pages alone cover 6 years. 6 whole years! As I read it, I realized that what happened in those 18 pages had enough meat for an entire novel.
It made me think a lot about the way we travel through time when we write. It’s hard for me to imagine covering 6 years in 18 pages. My novel, Spared, takes 77,000 words to cover roughly 14 days. One of my favorite films, Before Sunrise, covers only 12 hours. Just a moment in time.
I wonder, how many of you like novels that take on a small period of time with that kind of excruciating detail? I tend to like them. But I also found it refreshing to breeze through 6 years at such lightening speed. It tells me that I am getting into something much larger than a moment. That I am going to take a much bigger journey. That’s very exciting.